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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • WS96
  • RP95
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Winemaker Notes

"(90% Grenache in this vintage and 10% Syrah) Dense ruby/blue/purple to the rim, this is no wimpy wine, tipping the scales at 15.8% alcohol, but the higher than normal acidity and moderately high tannins give it a decidedly vin de garde style that promises a considerably long life. Unlike the 2004, or 2003 for that matter, it is a wine for patient connoisseurs who are willing to invest 5-6 years. Made from very low yields of 22 hectoliters per hectare, this blockbuster, powerful, muscular style of wine should be at its best between 2012 and 2023. Brothers Jean-Pierre and Thierry Usseglio have once again produced some of the finest Chateauneuf du Papes of the vintage, particularly in 2005. This is no small accomplishment given the fact that their 2003 cuvees were among the very finest wines of that challenging and irregular year."
-Robert Parker 93-95

"Saturated ruby. Explosive aromas of blackberry, cherry and licorice, along with an intense floral note. Impressively fleshy and mouthfilling, with dense, sweet red and dark berry flavors, a subtle garrigue quality and supple tannins. Lush, creamy and extremely long on the finish, with a dominant flavor of ripe blackcurrant."
-International Wine Cellar 93-96

Critical Acclaim

WS 96
Wine Spectator

RP 95
The Wine Advocate

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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils

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Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils, , France - Rhone
Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils
In 1931 an Italian Francis Usseglio left Italy and went to Chateauneuf du Pape in France. Here he got a job at some winegrowers. After the war he got his own property - in 1948. He had two sons Pierre and Raymond. Pierre Usseglio got his father's property and Raymond established another estate. Today the 3. generation is in charge. The sons of Pierre Usseglio, Jean-Pierre and Thierry run Domaine Pierre Usseglio and Stephanie runs Domaine Raymond Usseglio. Today Domaine Pierre Usseglio consists of 21 ha. divided in 15 different parcels in the appellation. Half of the vines are about 60 years old and the rest is about 30 years old.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

AWAUSSDD05E_2005 Item# 91012

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